Police find ‘no evidence’ of racist abuse directed at Rudiger and close case
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The Metropolitan Police has found no evidence to support Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger’s allegation of racist abuse, Tottenham Hotspur have announced.
Rudiger complained that he was subjected to monkey chants in his side's 2-0 win at Spurs on December 22, but an "extensive" investigation, using CCTV and professional lip readers, has been unable to identify any perpetrators.
The police have now closed the case and no action will be taken.
Tottenham said in a statement: "The club and the Metropolitan Police have now exhausted all avenues of investigation following the reported incident at our home fixture against Chelsea on 22 December.
"We carried out extensive reviews of CCTV images and footage, working with professional lip readers.
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"All materials and reports have now also been reviewed by the police who have carried out their own investigation.
"The police have notified us today that, having reviewed and investigated, they have closed the crime report as they can find no evidence to support the allegation of racial abuse."
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Rudiger told his captain Cesar Azpilicueta that he had been abused shortly after his role in Son Heung-min's second-half red card in the Premier League match before Christmas.
Spurs responded swiftly, launching a full investigation alongside the police and vowing to issue lifetime bans to anyone found guilty.
"We fully support Antonio Rudiger with the action that he took - however there is no evidence to corroborate or contradict the allegation and as such neither ourselves nor the police are in a position to take any further action.
"We are fiercely proud of our anti-racism work and our zero tolerance of any form of discrimination.
"This is one reason why we have attributed so much time and resource to investigating this matter.
"Had we identified anyone guilty of this we were intent on issuing them with a lifetime ban from our stadium as they would have no place among our proud, diverse fan base.
"If any new information comes to light, this will be fully investigated."
Chelsea later also reiterated their support for Rudiger and stressed the importance of players not being afraid to report racism.
"We support Toni Rudiger totally and unequivocally on this matter, and as Tottenham's statement makes clear, a lack of evidence does not mean an incident did not take place," a Blues spokesman said.
"In responding to this incident, we must be very careful about the climate we create for players who experience and report racist behaviour.
"It is vitally important that we continue to encourage all players, whatever shirt they wear, to report racist abuse without fear of doubt or reprisal."